This will explain the basics of freestyle, flowing, and battling.
- Listen to previous freestyle flows and battles by great artists
(e.g., rappers like Jin, Jay-Z, Yusaf, Benefit, Rakim, Big L, Eminem,
and any other great artist that spits hardcore rap).
- Understand the techniques those artists use to flow and battle, which will help you enhance those techniques yourself.
- Start writing rhymes. Write down anything that comes to mind
and try to rhyme it. Using your emotions is a good way to describe what
you’re feeling when you spit or write lyrics. Make sure you eat a
hearty meal before attempting a battle.
- Practice free-styling — anytime, anywhere, as much as you
can. Even if you run out of things to freestyle about, just continue
spitting, no matter how wack you think you sound. It helps you develop
better rhymes and your mind becomes more focused on what sounds good
when you spit. It’s like a mental workout. So always practice spitting
- Once you’ve noticed you can spit on spot (when you want to),
try to spit about more specific things. Direct your raps toward things
that bother you or upset you. Anything you dislike or want to talk
about, try to spit about it. Once again, practice this until you feel
you’ve got it down.
- Start freestyle battling. The first step to freestyle
battling is to practice the first 5 techniques in a battle against a
friend or someone who it wouldn’t matter to if you messed up.
Constantly battle like that with people, especially if you can find a
friend who is actually good at battling so they can teach how to
improve what you lack. Again, continue to practice this until other
friends you know (especially those into hip-hop music) think you’re
- Have your first real battle against someone you at least
somewhat dislike. If you can find someone who just gets you emotional
or who angers you, it makes it easier to flow about them. You want to
make sure when you flow about them you include 3 major things.
- Metaphors – Making comparisons with your target (the person you’re battling) to something that denigrates them.
– Saying things that either make fun of them in general (e.g., how they
dress, speak, spit, look, walk, talk, act, or their personality) or
about them personally (e.g., the way they live, their past, their
lifestyle, weaknesses about them, anything that directly goes against
them in a way that makes fun of them).
- Punch-Lines – a
Punch-Line basically is a bar (2 lines you spit) that incorporates a
Metaphor, Dis, and/or anything else to enhance the flow directed at
- Don’t worry if you lose your first few real battles, the point
is to constantly practice spitting. Continue practicing until you’ve
got it down. And pay attention to how other people spit whom the
crowd/judges enjoy. There are many techniques to battling, but these
are just the basics.
- If someone beats you in a battle and it gets to you, practice
more until you think you’re really ready. Then challenge them again: if
you win, you will earn a lot of respect back. It’s a great feeling, and
chicks or dudes will dig your system and flair.
- When you think you lost it, don’t worry – just relax. The
worst thing to do is freak out. Just relax and keep going. You might
still ace it.
- While your opponent is rapping, think how you can come back to what he says, so you get a better punchline.
- "Spit" as used in the context of this article is a synonym for
rapping, not the forcible expulsion of saliva from the mouth. Please do
not practice the latter kind of spitting; it does not make you look
nearly as cool.